New York, NY

We landed in New York on December 31st so technically this all began last year. As the plane taxied to a stop and we awaited clearance to pick up our bags and head out through JFK into the Big Apple, tiny snowflakes started dotting the air. Within minutes we were witnessing a proper snowfall (only my second ever) and by the time we picked up our carry-on luggage and trudged into the airport, the ground was covered in white powder.

We were working pretty long days (I shot and edited all the ‘Behind the Scenes’ features on Anjaana Anjaani, the Bollywood movie that opens today) so I didn’t get to spend a lot of time exploring the city. But I took every opportunity I got to walk around and I really enjoyed what I saw.

One thing I noticed was that New Yorkers name-checked the city a lot in their conversation. Like this snatch of conversation I caught between two guys hurrying uptown from around 26th and Madison:

Guy 1: A handful of nuts everyday really helps the energy levels.
Guy 2: Mmm-hmm…
Guy 1: But then again in New York, you’re never far from a handful of nuts.

As part of the film crew I got to visit a few places I might never have checked out as a tourist. I imagine very few tourists making the trip to City Island. Yes it is still New York but so far away that only sailors and really old folk seem to know where it is. I exaggerate (a little) but it looked like the average age of the people in that place was 93. In the movie, the church with the countdown clock is from City Island.

We were working pretty long days (I shot and edited all the ‘Behind the Scenes’ features on Anjaana Anjaani, the Bollywood movie that opens today) so I didn’t get to spend a lot of time exploring the city. But I took every opportunity I got to walk around and I really enjoyed what I saw.

Even though I spent a month in New York I can’t say I have favourite places in the city yet. I’m no longer that young or naïve. What I do have, is a powerful desire to revisit the city, sooner rather than later.

This video is my attempt to capture the energy of New York with music by the very talented Mumbai-based composer sonaluna. Some day soon, I hope to breathe that air again.

Elvis

Independent filmmaker and screenwriter.